Comments about Cornelius

The book Cornelius is a fable. A fable is a narrative, and as a narrative, it has the components of narrative text structure, which are the title, the setting, the characters, the problem, the resolution, and the theme.

Books provide such wonderful tools and experiences to have with a child.

Read Cornelius. Talk about what’s important. Books provide teachable moments.

There is a strategy we use in reading called an anticipation guide. It is a list of statements that encourage discussion. For example, "It okay to be yourself. "

"Is it okay to be different?" "Is it good to always do what other people want you to do?" These are questions, but turn them into statements, and they can be argued. You might provide some of these statements with your child when you read Cornelius, depending on the child’s age.

After reading the story, Cornelius, go back and ask the child if he still agrees with what he thought first concerning the statements you talked about.

One of the things I really appreciate about the book, Cornelius, is that it reminds us that we each have different giftings and abilities.

The monkey could do things that Cornelius couldn’t do. Cornelius obviously was born with some abilities that the other crocodiles could not do, at least initially. And because of our giftings, that makes us different.

Our gifts also can be our challenge. Our strengths can be our challenge. So for Cornelius, he was  able to walk upright and he could see things that no other crocodile could see.

However, you might sense when you read the story, that he became somewhat proud. He had an arrogant spirit, and because of that the other crocodiles did not like him. They rejected him.

These are all points for discussion with a child, because even as we grow as adults, there are times we do not feel the acceptance we would like to because of what we are able to do, or because of our giftings, and we have to deal with that.

We have to learn to be our own person, to develop the gifts that we have been given and not let the judgments of others determine our destiny. These are important points. These thoughts suggest the theme.

Read with a child. Sit together. Depending on the age of your child, the child may be sitting next to you, he may be on your lap, he may be on the floor playing with toys, or he may be walking around. That’s okay, because as you sit with a book and you read, and you talk, the child is absorbing more than you may realize, particularly at that moment.

By reading, you are showing that reading is important. It is important enough for us to take the time to read, even though we have had a busy day, and maybe we are tired.

Reading is a wonderful way to come together with family members, ones you love and connect with. Make it a point not to  only develop reading abilities, but to develop the way children see the world, and the way they view themselves.

I want to encourage you to take time to read to a child, even if it is just one book. Even if you just spend 15 minutes, 20 minutes. Sometimes you can read, sometimes you might have the child read to you.

You may say, well my child can’t read, but there are pictures, and a child develops language at a young age. The child learns to  sit and go through the picture book and tell you the story.

Children construct meaning through pictures and text. They form the foundation for what they will need for reading. They are developing their background knowledge, their schemata, and their ability to understand text.

It’s all right if they don’t read all the words correctly. The meaning is what is most important. They like to hear the meaning of the story.

So read with a child. Let the child read or tell you the story. Enjoy.